Here, I’ve gathered the main tools and resources I use for my writing as well as for my business.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I make a small amount of money if you click through and purchase something, at absolutely no extra cost to you (you can always google the tools I recommend if you don’t want to use my links). I personally use all the tools I recommend, so I hope they are useful for you as well.
For Writing and Self Editing
Scrivener: This is my number 1 recommendation to all writers! This writing software is amazing with its brilliant drag and drop functionality to organize your chapters and scenes in an effortless way, the folder for gathering your research, the ability to compile the manuscript into different formats for publishing, just to name a few. I use Scrivener for both blogging and writing books (and I even used it when I wrote my BA essay). I just can’t live without it.
SimpleMind: This is a mind-mapping app I use on all my devices to develop my ideas, brainstorm new topics for blog posts or books, etc.
Hemingway App: A great resource for editing your texts. Add your text to the text editor and the app will sort out things like passive voice and adverbs and such. I use this when I self-edit my books (fiction and non-fiction) and should start to use it with my blog posts as well.
Grammarly: Grammarly helps you write correctly wherever you write on the web. You can also upload a document and have Grammarly check for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and much more. I love this tool because it helps me become a better writer.
For Taking Notes
Evernote: I mostly collect research in Evernote by adding notes and/or links to websites I've visited or books I wand/need to buy.
Moleskine notebooks: (I’m addicted to those with soft covers.) I collect all kinds of ideas in Moleskine notebooks—everything from story ideas to descriptions to pieces of dialogue to character names, etc.
Amazon KDP: An easy to use publishing tool for self-publishers. I personally upload all my books here.
Kobo Writing Life: An easy to use publishing tool for self-publishers. I personally upload all my books here.
Smashwords: While I upload my books directly on Amazon KDP and Kobo (because those are the two sites where I usually buy ebooks), I use Smashwords to upload my books on other sites like iBooks and Nook and some smaller vendors. I use Smashwords because it saves me the time and energy it would otherwise take to upload all my books on all the different platforms.
For the Website
Squarespace: I have just changed to Squarespace for my website, and so far, I love it! I find the designing much easier than my previous WordPress site. Squarespace offer many different templates you can use as a base to then tweak and style to make it your own. And because The Writing Kylie is my business, design and branding is important. Also, the easy way in which you can tweak your website saves a lot of time compared to changing CSS code (which I spend hours upon hours to tweak on my previous WordPress site while trying not to screw the whole thing up). You can buy domains through Squarespace, too (though I haven’t done this yet because I’ve bought all my domains on Bluehost in the past).
Bluehost: I recommend Bluehost as they offer great customer service, make it very simple to set up a WordPress website (they literally have a 1-click WordPress install), and offer an easy transfer if you already have a site. I used Bluehost’s hosting option for two years and was really happy with them (their customer service really is amazing), and still use them for buying domains.
MailChimp: I started using MailChimp because it has a free option until you reach 2,000 subscribers. It’s easy to use, you can design your own templates (which means that you don’t need to format every single email you want to send), and it integrates with Squarespace so that you easily can collect the emails of your costumers or fans.
Canva: A free, easy to use editor where you can create graphics for you website, blog posts, social media, you name it. I use Canva for all the graphics on my website as well as most of the images I share on social media.
Moleskine Daily Planner: I use a Moleskine Daily Planner to plan my days because I believe that writing down the things I need to do with a pen instead of using a keyboard make me achieve them more often than not. I also have a system that’s more like a checklist or a bullet-journal so that I can check the tasks I’ve done as I finish them. (I actually use this in combination with iCal, where I put in all the important appointments and such that I need notifications of. And yes, as you can see, I’m a planner.)
The Pomodoro Technique: I use this technique every day when it comes to my writing-time (whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or blog post writing) because I’ve found that I’m much more productive if I have a specific time set for my tasks than I did before when I had a minimum of 2,000 words a day (or one blog post a day) to write. There are some great apps for this, but there are also some online ones if you can’t, or don’t want to, download apps.
Trello: I use this digital planning/management tool to outline my goals. Trello gives me an overview of the whole project I’m working on, every individual manageable step, and all the deadlines I have meet to achieve the goal of a project.
For Social Media Management
BufferApp: This is an amazing app that easily helps me schedule other people’s blog posts and articles on my Twitter account. (You could use this app to schedule your own blog posts as well, but I choose to have it on another app because I want to keep my own blog posts separate from others for the simple reason that I want to find my own easily to see which ones I’ve already scheduled.)
Hootsuite: This has a free version that I use to schedule my own blog posts.
Tailwind: I absolutely love Pinterest, but it was really hard for me to find the time to pin articles every day. So, when I found Tailwind, this amazing tool for scheduling pins, I was hooked! I absolutely LOVE this tool because it saves me a ton of time! Interested? Here’s a $15 credit you can use if you’re interested in using Tailwind!
My Favorite Books on Writing
On Writing: A Memoire of the Craft by Stephen King: One section is a memoire, the other is packed with amazing tips for aspiring authors. This is basically my bible.
How to Market a Book: A Guide by Joanna Penn: Learn how to promote your books and how to think like an author-entrepreneur. I often go back to this book to freshen up my skills in marketing.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi: An epic ”Show, Don’t Tell” guide for showing emotions. This is such a great resource for fiction writers, and I recommend it dearly.
My Favorite Blogs / Websites for Writers
The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn is the queen of self-publishing in my opinion, and her blog is packed with amazing articles on everything a writer may need. I visit her blog at least twice a week to check on new blog posts/podcasts.
Helping Writers Become Authors: K.M. Weiland shares amazing tips and tricks that are focused on the writing as a whole. You may find information about story structure, outlining, characters and such, and I absolutely love every post she publishes.
Better Novel Project: Christine Fraser breaks down three best-selling novels and have amazing sketches/doodles that accompany every post (and they are truly amazing). Also, her master outline, which is designed with the three novels as a basis, is worth checking out!